Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year's Message

2010 has a been a year of change for Longmeadow's presence on the Internet, but there are new opportunities ahead.  I am looking forward to an exciting 2011!

This past July a brand new website- was created to capture and maintain a significant amount of the community oriented content for town residents.  This includes photos, webpages for community groups such as Long Meddowe Days, etc that may not be maintained by our town website in the future.

Looking back to 1997... a volunteer group of town residents wanted to provide a means for better communication in our town.  From that beginning, a tremendous amount of energy was devoted into making our town website- an outstanding resource for keeping town residents informed.  There was not much information about the town of Longmeadow that could not be found on

About 3 years ago I created the LongmeadowBuzz blog which was designed to provide a means for people in town to express their opinions and discuss controversial topics that were not appropriate for inclusion on the town website. 

The LongmeadowBuzz blog provided and still provides town residents with information that is not usually found in the Springfield Republican or the Longmeadow News.  Not just opinion, but background information and facts so that the reader can make informed decisions about a subject.

The LongmeadowBuzz blog is not intended to be a place for "one man's o
pinion", so other postings have always been welcome as long as the author is identified and is respectful of other opinions.  With the many challenges that Longmeadow faces in the coming years, I am very hopeful that the LongmeadowBuzz blog will become an important means to express different viewpoints/ prospectives and to reduce any polarization that might exist in our town.

Looking forward to 2011, I have renewed energies and excitement about the website.  Not only will it continue to be a key resource with its Town Calendar and revamped Longmeadow Community Bulletin Board, it will also provide a much needed connection between town residents and the businesses that service our town.   In today's challenging economy we need to support our local businesses.  We have already seen a significant number of local businesses disappear.

New "social media" like Facebook, Twitter and others will come into much greater use in 2011 and provide new opportunities to improve communication and to help us thrive and prosper as a community.

Become a FAN of LongmeadowBiz by clicking the "Like" button on the new Facebook fanpage and join in the conversation.

You can also Follow LongmeadowBiz on Twitter.

Longmeadow is a great place to live.... let's keep it that way!

I'm always interested in feedback/ new ideas for or the LongmeadowBuzz blog so please send them to me at

Best Regards and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Longmeadow Deserves Better....

Below are links to the latest press releases that were posted this morning (12/28/10) on the Longmeadow town website-

A couple of comments.... 
  • The press releases for the Holiday Trash Collection and the ATM warrant articles were released for immediate publication by the Town Manager on December 20.   Why does it take 8 days for the notices to be posted?  In addition, the holiday trash collection notice was a bit too late for those who had their trash collected yesterday to find out that there was a Select Board Christmas gift of one additional FREE trash bag.
  • Yesterday, there was a snow emergency declared for the state of Massachusetts but there was no information posted on the town website about town related operations including snowplowing, parking regulations, town hall hours or trash collections.  In the past, town residents could visit the town website for the latest storm related information.
  • The Long Meddowe Days planning meeting notice is interesting.... I guess that there will be an attempt to provide posting of private group notices on the town website as well.
  • A suggestion.... there are a couple of notices that should be removed since the events have passed.  With all of the clutter, it is difficult to find important notices.
All of the above notices would have been posted within 24 hours on the Longmeadow Community Bulletin Board (as they have been posted for the past five years) if they were sent to LongmeadowBiz.  However, the Select Board chairman has notified all town departments that LongmeadowBiz should not be included with the distribution of press releases since it is not considered an "official" media outlet- (whatever that means).

In a past Buzz blog post I have highlighted the website for the town of Amherst as a great benchmark for Longmeadow to emulate but have been criticized by a member of the Town Manager's Website Taskforce because he felt that a simple Wordpress CMS "right out of the box" would work just fine and would be "free" or very low cost to the town.  

Amherst just released a "new look" for their town website designed to be easier for people to use according to an article this past weekend in the Springfield Republican.  I would encourage town residents to take a look... but don't expect Longmeadow's new website to match up very well.

It's been almost six months since the town website was "taken over" by the Rob Aseltine and the Longmeadow Select Board.  Let's hope that the announced unveiling of the new town website scheduled for January 1 will actually happen and be responsive to the needs of Longmeadow residents.

In the meantime, town residents can visit the Longmeadow Community Bulletin Board and the Town Calendar and the rest of the LongmeadowBiz website to stay connected with what's happening in our town.  Also, they should also consider following LongmeadowBiz on Facebook.